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Sen. Richard Durbin’s 2014 Report Card

Senate Majority Whip
Senior Senator from Illinois
Democrat
Serving Jan 7, 1997 – Jan 3, 2021


These special statistics cover Durbin’s record during the 113th Congress (Jan 3, 2013-Jan 2, 2015) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 12, 2015. Although Rep. Suzan DelBene [D-WA1], Rep. Thomas Massie [R-KY4], Rep. Donald Payne [D-NJ10], and Sen. Brian Schatz [D-HI] served in the 112th Congress, they took office within the last two months of the 112th Congress and here are grouped with other freshmen for the 113th Congress.

Members of Congress with party leadership roles often do not participate in the legislative process in the same way as other Members of Congress. Since Durbin is busy being Majority Whip, the metrics of legislative activity listed below may not apply.

A higher or lower number below doesn’t necessarily make this legislator any better or worse, or more or less effective, than other Members of Congress. We present these statistics for you to understand the quantitative aspects of Durbin’s legislative career and make your own judgements based on what activities you think are important.

Keep in mind that there are many important aspects of being a legislator besides what can be measured, such as constituent services and performing oversight of the executive branch, which aren’t reflected here.

 

Cosponsored the 2nd most bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Durbin cosponsored 354 bills and resolutions introduced by other Members of Congress. Cosponsorship shows a willingness to work with others to advance policy goals. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (87th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (96th percentile); All Senators (93rd percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 2nd most often compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

GovTrack looked at whether Durbin supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Durbin 7 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Durbin sponsored S. 1207: Cameras in the Courtroom Act

Durbin cosponsored S. 375: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 405: Sunshine in the Courtroom Act ...; S. 1130: Ending Secret Law Act; S. 1467: FISA Court Reform Act of ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (94th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (96th percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 4th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 20 of Durbin’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the House. Working with a sponsor in the other chamber makes a bill more likely to be passed by both the House and Senate.

Those bills were: S. 113: Know Before You Owe Private ...; S. 262: Veterans Education Equity Act of ...; S. 521: Wounded Warrior Research Enhancement Act; S. 522: Wounded Warrior Workforce Enhancement Act; S. 565: Mississippi River Navigation Sustainment Act; S. 566: Water Infrastructure Now Public-Private Partnership ...; S. 718: Increasing American Jobs Through Greater ...; S. 796: A bill to designate the ...; S. 846: Family and Medical Leave Inclusion ...; S. 857: Family and Medical Leave Inclusion ...; S. 1207: Cameras in the Courtroom Act; S. 1399: A bill to amend the ...; S. 1410: Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014; S. 1503: School Access to Emergency Epinephrine ...; S. 1559: Benefits Fairness for Filipino Veterans ...; S. 1659: POST Act of 2013; S. 1704: Affordable College Textbook Act; S. 2204: Proprietary Education Oversight Coordination Improvement ...; S. 2540: Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act; S. 2921: A bill to designate the ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).

Companion bills are those that are identified as “identical” by Congress’s Congressional Research Service.


 

Ranked the 5th top leader compared to All Senators

Our unique leadership analysis looks at who is cosponsoring whose bills. A higher score shows a greater ability to get cosponsors on bills.

For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 113th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (91st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Got the 6th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Durbin’s bills and resolutions had 481 cosponsors in the 113th Congress. Securing cosponsors is an important part of getting support for a bill, although having more cosponsors does not always mean a bill will get a vote. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Wrote the 5th most laws compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 5 others)

Durbin introduced 3 bills that became law in the 113th Congress. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law. View Enacted Bills »

Those bills were: S. 796: A bill to designate the ...; S. 1503: School Access to Emergency Epinephrine ...; S. 2921: A bill to designate the ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (81st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Senators (83rd percentile).

A bill or joint resolution is considered enacted if it or an exactly identical bill to it is enacted as law. We only consider bills that the legislator was the primary sponsor of. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, such as through incorporation into larger bills, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively.


 

Was 8th most present in votes compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

Durbin missed 0.3% of votes (2 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View Durbin’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (7th percentile); All Senators (7th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 11th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 5 others)

8 of Durbin’s bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress had a cosponsor who was a chair or ranking member of a committee that the bill was referred to. Getting support from committee leaders on relevant committees is a crucial step in moving legislation forward.

Those bills were: S. 1207: Cameras in the Courtroom Act; S. 1410: Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014; S. 1659: POST Act of 2013; S. 1736: SERVe Act; S. 2204: Proprietary Education Oversight Coordination Improvement ...; S. 2946: Senator Paul Simon Water for ...; S.Res. 165: A resolution calling for the ...; S.Res. 318: A resolution expressing the sense ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (76th percentile); All Senators (84th percentile).


 

Ranked 18th most liberal compared to All Senators

Our unique ideology analysis assigns a score to Members of Congress according to their legislative behavior by how similar the pattern of bills and resolutions they cosponsor are to other Members of Congress.

For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 113th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (30th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); All Senators (17th percentile).


 

Introduced the 20th most bills compared to All Senators

Durbin introduced 58 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (66th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (72nd percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 20th least often compared to All Senators

Of the 354 bills that Durbin cosponsored, 18% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (21st percentile); Senate Democrats (36th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).

Only Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who cosponsored more than 10 bills and resolutions are included in this statistic.


 

Committee Positions

Durbin held a leadership position on 0 committees and 2 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Durbin’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (25th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (6th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

Durbin tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 31% of Durbin’s 58 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 113th Congress.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (45th percentile); Senate Democrats (37th percentile); All Senators (49th percentile).

Only Members of Congress who sponsored more than 10 bills and resolutions are included in this statistic.


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Durbin introduced 7 bills in the 113th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 718: Increasing American Jobs Through Greater ...; S. 796: A bill to designate the ...; S. 1410: Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014; S. 1429: Department of Defense Appropriations Act, ...; S. 2946: Senator Paul Simon Water for ...; S.Res. 165: A resolution calling for the ...; S.Res. 318: A resolution expressing the sense ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (55th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (57th percentile); All Senators (70th percentile).


Additional Notes

The Speaker’s Votes: Missed votes are not computed for the Speaker of the House. According to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings.” In practice this means the Speaker of the House rarely votes but is not considered absent.

Leadership/Ideology: The leadership and ideology scores are not displayed for Members of Congress who introduced fewer than 10 bills, or, for ideology, for Members of Congress that have a low leadership score, as there is usually not enough data in these cases to compute reliable leadership and ideology statistics.

Missing Bills: We exclude bills from some statistics where the sponsor’s original intent is not in the final bill because the bill’s text was replaced in whole with unrelated provisions (i.e. it became a vehicle for passage of unrelated provisions).

Ranking Members (RkMembs): The chair of a committee is always selected from the political party that holds the most seats in the chamber, called the “majority party”. The “ranking member” (sometimes “RkMembs”) is the title given to the senior-most member of the committee not in the majority party.

Freshmen/Sophomores: Freshmen and sophomores are Members of Congress whose first term (in the same chamber at the end of the 113th Congress) was the 113th Congress (freshmen) or 112th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.